As a Facebook member, you can take advantage of the Group feature. You can join an existing group, or make your own. I belong to a few RV-related groups. One is Roadtreking, a Public group where I can keep up with our friend Mike Wendland and his community. Another group is Living the RV Dream – a very active group with 28,000+ members. If you want to get immediate feedback on any RV-related question. I noticed a post yesterday that was concerned about their dog being allowed in RV parks since it was a pit bull mix. Within 20 minutes they had a dozen responses from people with first-hand experience! That’s useful information.
The third one is LTRVD Gathering. This is a small group that was created specifically as a communication device before, during, and after a rally. What a great way to easily communicate to the whole group and give each person in the group a way to share information and ideas.
You can search for RV groups on Facebook by using the search field and typing RV, then click the option for Groups, or here’s a link to the search (you must be logged into Facebook for this link to work.)
What is the difference between a Public and a Closed Group?
If a group is public, anyone on Facebook can see the posts there, but only a member of the group can create a post. If a group is private, anyone on Facebook can see the list of people who are members of the group, but you can’t see any of the posts unless you are a member. For more details about the different types of groups see the official Facebook help page on Privacy Options for Groups.
Private Family Group
We even have a private group just for our family. We used the “Secret” designation so nobody else can find it, but Jim and I can post to this group just as easily as posting anywhere else in Facebook. We have it set so that we each get notified anytime the other posts. It’s a great place to put reminders, ideas, and links to funny things we know we would each enjoy but we don’t want to post to all our friends.
How do you become a member of a Group?
If you find a group you want to join, you should see a button for Join Group at the upper right of the page. You may have to wait for an admin to approve your membership – it could be in 5 minutes or it could be a few days depending on how active the group and its admin is. Once you are part of a group, you will be notified anytime someone posts. You can control those notifications by clicking on “Notifications” at the top of the page (on a computer) and choosing the option you want.
How do you Make a Group
Anyone on Facebook can make a group. Probably the easiest way to get started is to visit a current group that you belong to – using a computer – and click the 3-dot menu at the upper right. At the bottom of the list, you should see “Create New Group.” On a mobile device, you can tap the 3-line menu at the upper right, scroll down to the Groups section and, at the end, you will see “Create a New Group.”
Some people say their Facebook has too much on it and others tell me theirs has too little. On the ‘too much’ side, do you wish there weren’t so many ads and other promotional posts in Facebook? And, on the ‘too little’ side, do you wish you could be sure of seeing everything posted by good friends?
What if I told you there was an easy way to accomplish both of those results in one simple feature? It’s called “Close Friends” and I’ll tell you exactly how to use it with Facebook on the computer as well as Facebook on mobile devices like Android Phones and iPhones or iPads.
What’s a News Feed?
The Facebook news feed is the stream of posts that you see when you first log in to Facebook. These posts are coming from friends, pages you have “Liked,” and Facebook promotional material. It’s like opening a newspaper and reading all the news from those “Feeds.”
What’s a Friend List?
When you first start using Facebook, it assumes you have some friends who are more important to you than others and it sets up a list called “Close Friends.” You can also set up custom lists like “Summer Camp Friends” or “Work Friends.”
Using the Close Friends Feed
You can use a Friend list to limit who sees your posts. You can also use a Friend list to limit whose posts you see. If, instead of the everything News Feed, you select to see only your Close Friends feed, then you will be seeing ALL the posts from your Close Friends, and NOTHING BUT the posts from your Close Friends. See what I mean about it accomplishing two goals? To get back to your ‘everything’ News Feed, just click Home on a computer, or the News Feed icon on a mobile.
Android Phone Facebook App
iPhone Facebook App
View the Close Friends Feed
Click “Close Friends” on the left sidebar.
Tap the 3-line menu, then Close Friends
Tap the 3-line menu, Feed, Close Friends
Post to Close Friends only
Write post, click audience selector, More Options, Close Friends
Write status post, on “To” line, tap right arrow More… Close Friends
same as Android
Add/Remove people from Close Friends list
When viewing close friends News Feed, the people will show up at the right. Easy to “Add friends to list” or See All and click X to remove people
Can’t manage the list as a whole. Go to a friend’s timeline, tap the “Friend” indicator and then “Edit Friend List” Then Check or UNCheck Close Friends.
There are show notes below which document what was covered in the show and include timeline links, so you can watch just the part of the video that you want. If you are not a Geeks on Tour member, you can watch Episode 47 video on YouTube, but you won’t get the show notes.Become a member here. This episode covers:
Quick Tips: A potpourri of tips today. Emergency info on your phone, Camera settings, Saving places on Google Maps, Facebook autoplay videos, iCloud Backup limits, and more
There are show notes below which document what was covered in the show and include timeline links, so you can watch just the part of the video that you want. If you are not a Geeks on Tour member, you can watch Episode 39 video on YouTube, but you won’t get the show notes.Become a member here. This episode covers:
Quick Tips: Use Fingerprint reader to unlock phone.
There are show notes below which document what was covered in the show and include timeline links, so you can watch just the part of the video that you want. If you are not a Geeks on Tour member, you can watch Episode 32 video on Youtube, but you won’t get the show notes. Become a member here. This episode covers:
Quick Tips: Facebook Notification on Lock Screen
Beginner’s Lesson: Dropbox pt.1: Cloud Storage and Device Independence
If you can see it on the web, you can share it with your Facebook friends. If you want to share a Youtube video with your Facebook friends it’s easy, when you’re viewing a Youtube video you have a link for “Share” and then you have an icon for sharing to Facebook.
But, what if you want to share an interesting article you see while browsing the web? What about a blog post of interest, or a video that is not on Youtube? Below is an image of the screen while I’m viewing a video we posted on our Google+ Photos page. There is no icon to share this with Facebook, so how do I do it? Anything you can see on the Web has a Web address, aka a URL (Uniform Resource Locator.) In this example, the URL is the long string of text at the top.
Simply copy that URL, and then paste it into a Facebook Status update box.
Now, here’s the cool part … once Facebook interprets that link, it will add an image and description, if available. Then you can erase the actual link, it is no longer necessary, so you can type a few introductory words and your friends don’t need to see that ugly, long link. You can also edit whatever description was automatically placed. Just click on it and you should see it turn editable, with a blinking cursor.
Who can see a Link you Share? If you copied a URL from somewhere else on the Web, then you have complete control over who can see that on your Facebook Timeline. Just click the dropdown arrow for the audience selector and choose whether you want it to be public, just your friends, or special groups under More Options.
However, if you’ve shared something you originally saw on Facebook, then you can’t make it visible to more people than the original poster did. For example, I saw a picture on Facebook posted by my friend Debbie. I could tell that she set the audience to her friends by noticing the icon. That means that only Debbie’s friends could see her picture. When I share that same picture by clicking the Share link, I can select the ‘Public’ audience, but it won’t matter. If someone is not Debbie’s friend they won’t be able to see that post of mine. The original poster controls who can see what they post … period.
When Sharing a Blog – share the URL of the individual post. A lot of people keep personal, travel blogs. They post a link on Facebook whenever they write something new in their Blog. It’s a great way to keep a Blog and use Facebook to promote it. But don’t just share the URL of the main blog, for example: www.GeeksOnTour.Blogspot.com. If you click on the title of a post, you’ll see that the URL changes to specifically link to that post, for example: http://geeksontour.blogspot.com/2014/09/palm-springs-and-our-online-show.html. When you share that link, it will always take people to that individual post, not the current Blog post.
We are big fans of Facebook. The way it allows us to so easily stay in touch with all our family and friends – no matter where we all are – enriches our lives. Old friends stay connected, and new friends become close because of the easy communications provided by Facebook. If you are a Good Sam Club member, I hope you saw the article “Get Away, Stay Connected” in the April/May issue of Highways Magazine. In it I wrote all about Facebook and other social networking. You can log in and read it online at Highways magazine – page 46.
We always start out our Facebook seminar with a few Do’s and Don’t’s. Here are our top 5:
DO use Facebook. It is simply the best way of communicating with friends and family. You owe it to yourself to at least give it a try. Post interesting tidbits about your life and see who comments. You will learn things about your friends and family that you never have enough face-to-face time for.
DON’T accept friend requests unless they are truly your friends. The purpose of Facebook is for real people to connect with real friends (and family.) It is not a popularity contest. To become Facebook friends requires confirmation by the people on both sides. If you receive a request from people you don’t know – just ignore them, or click ‘Not Now.’
DO follow the instructions for account security by using a special, secure password, entering a second email, your cell phone number, and a secret question. You can hide this info from everyone except Facebook. The purpose is for Facebook to have a way to verify your identity in the event you forget your password, or in the unlikely event that your account is hijacked. The other recommended security setting is to always use the secure connection (https) option.
DON’T post any information that would upset you if you saw it printed in your local newspaper. The privacy controls on Facebook are trustworthy, but did you set them correctly? And, might your friends repeat what you said outside of Facebook? Once something is on the Internet and even one person can see it, it can be copied and posted elsewhere. If you don’t want something known, don’t post it!
DO use your Smartphone to post pictures and status updates to Facebook. You may find that the only computer you need as you travel is your Smartphone.
April was a busy month. First we got all packed and left Fort Lauderdale. Easter weekend we were at an old high school friend’s (Alex) for the weekend along with other high school alumni of Chris’, some of whom are excellent musicians. We were treated to 3 days of music, party, and friends in the beautiful wooded area east of Gainesville, Florida. Alex’s property included a perfect RV site complete with electric hookup! For more details, including videos of the music, see our Blog Post.
Then came our very special Rally. The rally was a joint effort between TechnoRV – aka Phil and Tracey May, and Geeks on Tour – aka Jim and Chris Guld. What fun we had! All 36 people who attended seemed to have only one word to say … WOW! Here’s a video overview of the rally:
A Different Kind of RV Rally–Learn about cameras, computers, smartphones and more.
We covered so much information at the rally, we’ve decided to use this newsletter just to highlight some of the learning from last week. See the rally’s daily schedule to see all that was covered.
New Tutorial Videos
You can always see the most recent Tutorial Videos on the Geeks on Tour membership site by going to www.geeksontour.com, clicking on the Learning Library menu and then choosing ‘Recent Videos.’ These videos are for members only unless specified as free. For April, the new videos are:
Our Techno-Geek Learning rally was a learning experience for us too! We decided to use Facebook’s ‘Page’ feature rather than have a traditional website. It was great to be able to have other people post their pictures and comments as they attended the event. Over the course of the week, over 300 people ‘Liked’ the TechnoGeek Learning Rally page. This meant that we were actually sharing our learning rally with all of them in addition to the people who were actually there. That’s pretty cool!
Even if you don’t have a Facebook account, you can view the page just like any other web page on the Internet. For those that do use Facebook, they could click ‘Like’ and know that they wouldn’t miss anything because whatever we posted on our page would show up on their Facebook Home Page ‘Newsfeed.’
It is so easy to post pictures and stories that the page collected a lot of information in a short amount of time. Any general learning information we tried to post on the main page. Any information specific to last week, we entered on the April 2012 Event page. If you visit that page, be sure to scroll down to the bottom, then click ‘Older Posts’ – you’ll need to do that 3 times to get to the beginning of the rally.
The biggest problem we found with using the Facebook page is that you can’t control the layout of the page. When it starts to get full, it can be very hard to find anything. When people post pictures, instead of all pictures going into a photo album, each picture needed it’s own post. And, only official posts by the organizers (us) show up in full in the main column of the page. Other posts are collapsed and stuck in a box at the right. You need to learn to click the tiny ‘See All’ link in order to see what other people are saying.
All in all, we consider the Facebook experiment a success. The layout will continue to evolve. Meanwhile everyone learned a lot. One attendee said, “I never used Facebook much, but since I learned so much more about it this week, I’ve been able to see pictures of my grandkids that I haven’t seen before.”
Whether you use a point-and-shoot camera, a digital SLR, or just your smartphone for taking pictures, there are a lot of settings and techniques for taking better pictures. Phil May, from TechnoRV, presented the ‘Getting the Most from your Digital Camera’ seminar on the first day of the rally. Then he took people out on ‘walkabout’ to try their skills with their cameras. One of the prime directives in taking pictures was to ‘get closer’ … no really, I mean GET CLOSER!
Participants learned about the Macro modes on their cameras as well as fill-flash and scene settings. Then, on the second day of the rally, Chris taught the hands-on class for editing your pictures using Picasa. Even people with their Macintosh computers, who were accustomed to iPhoto, attended that class and commented on how many more editing tools were available in Picasa.
At Geeks on Tour, we’ve been evangelists for Picasa over 7 years now. It’s a free program that you download to your computer from Google. We teach several seminars on it, produced over 60 tutorial videos, have a website dedicated to Picasa, and wrote a book on it! But, we know it’s not the only game in town. Many people with Macintosh computers are very happy with iPhoto which comes preinstalled on their Macs – even though Picasa does have a fully compatible Macintosh version. On Windows computers, the gold standard photo editing program is Adobe Photoshop ($700!) or Photoshop Elements ($99.) There are also several free programs, including Microsoft’s offering – Windows Live Photo Gallery, and a full featured, Photoshop workalike called GIMP.
Everyone at the rally either had a smartphone, or was thinking about getting one. Both Android and iPhones were represented, but Androids were in the majority. For iPhone users, the most popular navigation app was Waze. Androids come with Google Navigation and we love it!
After a delicious breakfast, every day of our rally started with a panel discussion. If someone had a question about technology for travelers – any question at all – this is when we answered it. Impromptu topics that got a lot of attention included Dropbox. Both of us (Geeks on Tour and TechnoRV) use Dropbox all the time and we love it. I wrote a previous article: Dropbox-Free Synchronizing Among Computers, and Phil recently wrote Dropbox – the Best little App You’ve Never Heard Of. One morning an attendee wanted to show something on her computer to the group, so we used www.Join.me to connect her screen to one of our computers at the front so it could be displayed thru the projector. Join.me is the free app we use for computer support. With just a few clicks we can see your screen on ours. Evernote is another device-independent application. Use it for taking notes on your iPhone or Android phone, and that same note is available on the web using your laptop or tablet. Although photography related topics was the bulk of our rally, some people said that learning about the Streets and Trips POI Megafile was worth the price of admission. The megafile was just updated in April. For our members, here’s the video on using the POI Megafile. I also notice there is a video you can watch on the Streets and Trips blog. At the rally, we were able to help people hands-on install the megafile on their computer and even set it as their default template for Streets and Trips.
There was a lot more … if you attended the rally and learned something that I didn’t mention here – please leave a comment ok?
Become a Geeks on Tour Member! And learn from our online library of Tutorial Videos Facebook, Picasa, Photo Story 3, Streets & Trips, Google Earth/Maps, Blogging, Boot Camp Class, Vista/Windows 7, Internet on the Road, Safe Computing only $58/yr= access to ALL videos plus the Forums. Click here to Join
That’s all for now. We hope you learned something. Your next issue will be next month. Any questions, please visit our forum. If you like this newsletter, please forward it on to your friends! If you received this issue forwarded by a friend you can subscribe to get your own copy delivered to your in box – it’s free. To see the archives of past newsletters, go to https://geeksontour.com/category/newsletter/.
First of all – What is the Timeline? It’s the new layout on your Facebook Profile. Realize that your Profile is not your home page. The Home Page is your News Feed – the place where all the news from your friends shows up. Your profile is just about you. When someone clicks on your name anywhere in Facebook, they end up at your Profile … all about YOU.
Do you have Timeline Yet?
So, step one for adding a banner to your Timeline is to be viewing your Timeline. Click on your name. If you haven’t yet upgraded to the Timeline your Profile will look similar to the image on the left below. If that’s your situation, the first thing to do is to go to Facebook’s Timeline introduction page and click ‘Get it Now.’ Be aware that this is irreversible. Once you advance to the Timeline layout for your profile you cannot go back. Personally, I love the timeline. I’ve been a journal-keeper since I was a little girl. Facebook’s Timeline is the ultimate journal/scrapbook/photo album of your life, all arranged on a vertical line representing time. At the top is Now, at the bottom is the date you were born. However, as with any change, it takes some getting used to and many people don’t like it.
Old Profile Layout
New Profile Layout, aka Timeline
Adding your First ‘Cover’ Photo
When you first upgrade to Timeline, you won’t have a cover photo. You will see a little button in the space intended for the cover. Click the ‘Add a Cover’ button and then you can choose to upload a picture from your computer, or use one from one of your existing photo albums. Once you’ve selected a photo, you can move it around until it looks good in the space allotted. The picture will be wide … it must be at least 720 pixels wide in order to look ok.
Changing your Cover Photo
If you already have a Cover Photo in place and you want to change it, just hover over the existing picture and you will see a button to ‘Change Picture.’ Click that and you’ll be able to upload a new photo, or pick another one from your albums on Facebook.
I use Facebook a lot. I frequently post pictures and little snippets about my life on Facebook. My Droid smartphone has a Facebook app that allows me to upload the pictures I take with my phone with just a couple of taps. I love the new timeline feature where I can see my life laid out by year and month. Most of my friends are on Facebook. I like being able to keep up with their lives all at once when I open Facebook and see my newsfeed. I’ve been using Facebook since 2008, I’ve studied it in depth so I can teach it. I understand Facebook
Can Google+ Beat Facebook?
Google+ is a Social Network like Facebook. Google+ was just launched in 2011. We don’t know how many people are on it, but it has a long way to go to catch up with Facebook. I’m trying to get to know Google+ and I’m not having an easy time of it. Not because it’s more difficult than Facebook but just because it is different, and I already know Facebook. Understanding Facebook does not directly translate to Google+. With 850 million people on Facebook, I view it as a directory – the white pages – for the people of the world. I don’t think there’s a place for two such directories.
That said, Google+ does have some cool features.
Google Hangout gives you an instant, easy way to video chat with a group of people. You can also share your screen, or watch a YouTube video together.
Since Picasa is also owned by Google, you can expect more and more of Picasa’s features to be showing up in Google+. They’ve already taken what used to be Picnik and put the basic editing features right in with the online pictures. Google+ accounts allow you to upload an unlimited number of pictures. With Picasa Web Albums, you were limited to 1GB.
I have installed the Google+ app on my Smartphone and now, any picture I take with my phone gets uploaded automatically. They start out as private, but you can then share them with whoever you want. Nothing to think about … I took a picture with my phone – I can look at it on my computer.
When I write a Blog post with Blogger (owned by Google) I can automatically share that to my Google+ profile
The biggest problem with Google+ as a social network is that all my friends are on Facebook! Some have migrated to Google+ but, just like me, they keep going back to Facebook because that’s where their friends are! That’s a big obstacle for Google+ to overcome.
We had a question in our Forum this month from a member who was unhappy that her Picasa Upload button had turned into a ‘Share with Google+’ button. She didn’t want to share with Google+ because she likes the specific features in Picasa Web Albums. In the forum thread we discussed the procedure to remove Google+ so she could continue with Picasa Web Albums as before. Check out the forum question and answer if you’re wondering the same.
Better yet, register for our Techno-Geek Learning Rally April 22-28 in Bushnell, Florida. We’ll be having lots of seminars as well as hands-on classes with Picasa. We’ll be able to compare notes on Google+, Facebook, and Picasa Web Albums. Our co-hosts from TechnoRV use Macintosh and iPhoto. This will be a valuable assembly of computer knowledge for travelers – and don’t worry, we’re known for being best with beginners!